RE­WARD AT LAST FOR THE LEEDS FAITH­FUL

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO RESULTS -

WHEN Thomas Chris­tiansen took over at Leeds this sum­mer, he said he’d stud­ied the team and knew ex­actly what was miss­ing.

Judg­ing on what I’ve seen this sea­son and their rise to the Cham­pi­onship sum­mit, the Dane’s anal­y­sis was spot on.

That’s no slight on Garry Monk, who did a great job last year. He in­stilled a de­fen­sive so­lid­ity that re­mains the foun­da­tion of the early suc­cess. Pon­tus Jans­son, in par­tic­u­lar, is ter­rific.

But they were rigid in their shape. The two cen­tral mid­field­ers sat.

Only Pablo Her­nan­dez had that lit­tle spark of some­thing dif­fer­ent. It all put a lot of pres­sure on Chris Wood, who scored more than 50 per cent of Leeds’ goals last term.

What Chris­tiansen’s ba­si­cally done is say ‘Right, we need to take the shack­les off, get on the front foot and play more freely’.

And they have. Sum­mer ad­di­tions like Sa­muel Saiz and Ezg­jan Alioski have made a huge dif­fer­ence. Now, the en­tire front three are fluid and cre­ative.

You look at Kalvin Phillips nick­ing a goal the other day, which tells you the deeper mid­field­ers are start­ing to break the lines.

In fact, my old side have al­ready had ten dif­fer­ent scor­ers – just two less than last sea­son. That’s all about that ‘front foot’ at­ti­tude.

Can they keep it up? I hope so. Those fans have seen too many bad times over the years. In my years at El­land Road, there was too much change, too much tur­bu­lence. Now there’s sta­bil­ity and clar­ity and they’re reap­ing the re­wards.

CRE­ATIVE: Sa­muel Saiz

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